The Rules of Magic

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Author: Alice Hoffman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Fiction

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From beloved author Alice Hoffman comes the spellbinding prequel to her bestseller, Practical Magic.Find your magic. For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk. From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.

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  • Lulu. Lichtenstein
    Couldn’t put it down, and when I was done, I read it again
  • Toni FGMAMTC
    The Rules of Magic is a family saga about the Owens. Siblings Franny, Jet and Vincent are the main focus, but many well-developed characters fill the story. It follows the siblings from childhood through old age. It also goes back to explain how the love curse started with their ancestors during the Salem witch trials. The reader journeys with Franny, Jet and Vincent as they study their history, learn their abilities and face hardships and tough decisions. The writing is beautiful and easily brought the emotions out. The plot is rich with historical events and in-depth multilayered characters. I feel like I actually know these people and love them. I’m a little sad that my time with them ended.
  • Peg Glover
    The Rules of Magic is a fascinating novel, superbly written and thoroughly satisfying. Alice Hoffman is a talented writer and an author who is fast becoming one of my favorites. The Owens family has lived on Magnolia Street in a small Massachusetts town since 1620. Most of the family had scattered, though, during the time of the witch hunts. Some went to Paris, others to New York, but Aunt Isabelle stayed in her home, on Magnolia Street. People shunned her and any family member who dared to visit her. Aunt Isabelle was known for her strange powers and potions. It was even rumored that she turned a person into a rabbit. But, these same people who hid from Aunt Isabelle during the day came around to her back porch at night. They sought her out for cures for physical and emotional ailments. They have even been known to ask for potions to manipulate other people. The Owens family believed that they had been cursed, ever since, Marie Owens was condemned to death in 1620 for loving the wrong man. The Owens family drew strength from one another, to survive a world, where they were not wanted. The family is made up of a unique group of characters, all quirky, independent, and wildly entertaining. Aunt Isabelle, Franny, Jet, and Vincent bring the reader deep into their hearts and lives and keep them there until the last page is read. The message that runs throughout this book is, to be who you are, regardless of what others think. Have the courage to live, love and be happy. This thought-provoking novel will linger with you long after you’ve finished it. It’s a book worth reading and rereading. Thank you, Simon and Schuster and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!
  • C Thomas
    I’ve always loved walking into Alice Hoffman’s books; being the fly on the wall, witnessing the humanity and shocking reality of the world she so clearly defines. Every one of her books has been a memorable journey, and reaching the last page requires a few moments to ponder what I just lived thru. Rules of Magic maintains Hoffman’s ability to bring you into her story. This book turns the clock back a few years and details the childhoods of the Owens siblings, Franny, Jet and Vincent. This is the prequel to Hoffman’s’ much-loved Practical Magic, issued in 1996. We live thru the children’s young developmental years and watch as they mature thru the angry, confusing and very painful teen years. The Owens curse states that any man who falls in love with an Owens woman will meet a terrible and untimely death. In their efforts to save the ones they love from this inevitable horror, the sisters try to control their emotions. They learn that, although they’re all quite proficient in controlling their magic, they have absolutely no control over their love for others. Vincent is a rebel. The description of him, his style, and his grace brings his character to life. You love him, then he does something so cruel and heartless, you feel anger towards him and wonder how his sisters survive living under the same roof with him. Franny and Jet have very different personalities, but their love and concern for one another carries them thru many cruel lessons as they age. The kids learn to live alone at a young age, and their perseverance is relentless. The stalwart character thru the years is their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts. There, they learn how to fine-tune the potions, the spells and incantations. Aunt Isabelle is a strong and loving presence for the siblings. It isn’t required to read Practical Magic before you read Rules of Magic. The story will flow beautifully if you read this new book first, and then move on to the sequel. I strongly recommend Alive Hoffman to anyone who enjoys a serious, engrossing and detailed read; all of her characters come to life and you’ll enjoy the respite from your daily demands. (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for making it available.)
  • melaniehope
    LibraryThing Review I love reading anything by Alice Hoffman, so I was so excited to get an advance e-copy of this book. Once again, Alice Hoffman will not disappoint. I have not read Practical Magic yet. You do NOT have
  • mckait
    LibraryThing Review The Owens family has always been different. Their mother tried to protect them from that knowledge, but there is only so much you can do to hide your children’s own abilities from them. Franny called
  • lauriebrown54
    LibraryThing Review This is the long awaited prequel to ‘Practical Magic’. In it we learn who the aunts were before they were the old ladies we see in PM- and they had quite interesting young lives! The story of how they
  • BettyTaylor56
    LibraryThing Review I have read several of Alice Hoffman’s books but this one was certainly different for me. I have not read “Practical Magic” so did not really know what to expect. While this book is a prequel to

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